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Brent’s teachers pray before class

by ervte

In Canada, in the cold, there was a long, long line of people waiting to pay their respects at a funeral. It was for Brent O’Brien’s dad, and the image of that long, long line stays with Brent more than 20 years later. Reflecting on his father’s profession as a teacher and headmaster, he said, “It made me think he changed lives for the better.”

Although he had considered it for himself, Brent never committed to teaching as a career. Instead, he was a successful businessman who spent nearly two decades working for a “large, multinational financial information company across Asia, Canada, and Australia.” But it was all about money. “Of course, money is important, but it is not the most important thing in the world.” In the end, Brent felt like he wanted to give something back after feeling like he’d been “a little selfish.”Brent's teachers pray before class

After moving to Australia, a casual conversation and a second sweet conversation convinced Brent that he could give something back by teaching. The chance conversation was while catching up with a key friend who recommended that Brent try it. The second adorable prompt came from his young daughter. After telling her father about her favorite male teacher, she said, “…we need more boy teachers!” And he knew that was it.

When he started teaching, Brent wanted to “help children learn in a fun, joyful, and supportive way.” Knowing that Avondale University was fully accredited and hearing a recent graduate praising her experience, Brent embarked on a Master of Teaching with Avondale. “It may not be one of the first universities that you think of… but I would say there are some very talented, knowledgeable people teaching there… and it’s a hands-on university where you can approach your teachers, and they care about how you’re doing.”

But like many people who go back to college, Brent is honest about the challenges it poses. He must balance family, work, study, and other obligations. “That’s where Avondale is good for the spiritual side…the teachers will often have a prayer before every lecture, and sometimes you think, ‘this is well timed.'”

Aside from the spiritual care and personal help from teachers, Brent describes how Avondale makes him feel.

“I like how everyone seems like a good person.”

While completing his Master of Teaching, Brent works as a learning assistant, already benefiting from his studies. “I took a special education course and immediately started using some of the things I had learned in the classroom.”

Studying a Master of Teaching at a supportive, Christian university can also help you change the meaning. As Brent learned through his father’s example and his own experience, teaching is a career where “you know you’re making a positive impact on their lives.” So, from being a manager in a multinational company to learning to be a teacher, Brent is now really giving back.

If you’re considering a career switch, study for a Master of Teaching at a Christian university. Avondale University is ranked in the top 10 universities in Australia, and our education rate is #1 for graduate satisfaction*. Our Master of Teaching is completely online, with government-subsidized places available. Download your course guide for more information.

*According to the Graduate Outcome Survey (CIS) 2021. See www.compared.edu.au.

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